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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, is leading the charge in Congress in expressing outrage over what Republicans call a House Democratic 'power grab' to overturn the results of the Iowa 2nd Congressional District election of Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
Hinson and her colleagues wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying they are 'astounded by your hypocrisy ... to support an investigation into this free and fair election while simultaneously claiming voter fraud does not exist nationally.'
If that's the case, they wrote, then there's no reason for the House to take up 'such an outrageous request' to unseat a legitimately elected representative.
They also noted that Pelosi sent Miller-Meeks letter Jan. 3 congratulating her election to the House.
Pelosi doesn't care about the 'dangerous precedent she is setting by overturning state-certified election results,' Hinson said. 'She only cares about taking more control for herself and padding her razor-thin majority.'
According to the certified election results, Miller-Meeks won the 2nd District race over Wheatland Democrat Rita Hart by six votes. However, Hart's campaign claims 22 legally cast ballots were not counted due to election worker error. If they had been counted, Hart said, she would have won by nine votes
Miller-Meeks was provisionally seated in Congress after a bipartisan panel of state officials certified the election results in November. She filed a motion in January to dismiss the case, arguing that Hart should have taken her case to the state courts before involving the House.
The fact that Hart did not take her case to the Iowa courts 'underscores that the Hart campaign does not have a case to make,' according to the letter. 'If this were truly about who won the election, the courts would be involved. This matter should be left to independent judges, not partisan politicians,' the letter said.
The letter has been signed by more than more than 120 members of Congress, including Iowa U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, and Louisiana U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 Republican in the House.
Hart, who will have a news conference later today to discuss the latest developments in her effort to overturn the election results, appealed to the House under a 1969 federal law that does not require a challenger to exhaust state legal remedies. Her campaign also noted that any Iowa court opinion on the election outcome would not be binding on Congress. The Constitution gives Congress the authority to judge the 'elections and returns' of its members.
The letter comes as the effort to unseat Miller-Meeks appears to be gathering steam. Politico has reported that the effort to oust her and seat Hart has been 'blessed by the top echelons' of House Democratic leadership. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is paying legal fees for Democratic election lawyer Mark Elias, who fought several election challenges brought by former President Donald Trump.
However, within the House Democratic ranks there has been some pushback to reversing the election outcome.
'Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats,' Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips tweeted. 'But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America. Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should.'
The resistance is coming from moderate Democrats, Politico said, quoting a 'vulnerable' Democrat that 'absent overwhelming evidence, it would be insane' to overturn the 2nd District results.
'It would be wrong on principle. It would also be political malpractice,' the unidentified representative said. 'While we would gain one seat, we would lose a lot more next year.'
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